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Sheffield Shield: SA skipper Travis Head stands tall to hold WA at bay

Travis Head hopes he’s now buried his nightmare one-day series for Australia.

The South Australian captain made a stylish 87 against Western Australia in their Sheffield Shield game in Adelaide on Friday. The Redbacks were bowled out for 251 with WA 1-15 in reply, Shaun Marsh not out nine.

Test hopeful Head had a woeful ODI series against South Africa, scoring just 15 runs.

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“Disappointing not to do well in the three-game series and get a score … bitterly disappointed,” Head said.

“You want to be in the Australian cricket team winning games of cricket for Australia and I wasn’t able to do that.

“It’s more frustrating because I know how hard I’m working off the field. I feel like I’m batting really well and that showed today.”

After WA captain Mitch Marsh won the toss and bowled, SA’s Jake Weatherald and Callum Ferguson fell cheaply for seven and a second-ball duck respectively.

Head then counterpunched, striking 13 fours in a 118-ball knock that enhanced his claims to retain his Test spot for next month’s series against India.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t a hundred but I felt really good,” Head said.

“Today was about having good fun out there, enjoying being out there batting and getting back to how I play my best cricket – going out and seeing the ball and hitting the ball, I was very relaxed.”

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Head dominated a 123-run stand with opener Conor McInerney (51) but when the partnership was broken, SA collapsed.

The Redbacks lost 6-36 in a post-lunch slump with WA quick Jhye Richardson claiming 5-47 from 22 overs.

Jake Lehmann (8), Tom Cooper (1), Harry Nielsen (duck) and Joe Mennie (6) went rapidly before Nick Winter and Daniel Worrall rescued the Redbacks with a 79-run stand for the ninth wicket.

Winter hit 53 not out, his highest first-class score and Worrall made 31.

Worrall was summoned to replace fellow paceman Chadd Sayers, who won’t play again until next year after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

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